Buying a home can be stressful and intimidating if you are not experienced in negotiating Real Estate transactions. Today’s technology allows buyers to have more information about homes for sale, but it does not do the work associated with getting the deal done. Having an experienced professional do the work for you can save you time and money. An Agent has expertise, knowledge about the market, access to more information, and can navigate you through the process.
There is a risk associated with the decision to not secure a Buyer’s Agent. Here are a few scenarios that demonstrate why:
• As a Buyer, it seems logical to simply walk into an open house or call the number on the sign in the yard. During your first contact with the Listing Agent you will typically be asked if you are working with an Agent. In this scenario, it is essential to understand that the Listing Agent is contracted with and works for the Seller of the home. By law, the Listing Agent must follow the Seller’s lawful instructions, be loyal, promote the Seller’s best interest, disclose material facts, act with reasonable skill and care, and maintain confidentiality.
• If you are not working with an Agent, the Listing Agent can work as a Dual Agent and represent both the Buyer and the Seller. In this scenario the Agent must maintain a neutral position and may not negotiate on either the Buyer or Seller’s behalf, nor disclose any personal or confidential information to either party.
• There is also the possibility that the Agent just represents the Seller and as the Buyer you choose to negotiate on your own. In this case, anything the Buyer tells the Listing Agent (i.e. your sense of urgency to close or that you were preapproved for more than the list), can be relayed to the Seller. The Seller can use that information to get you to pay more than you might need to.
A Buyer Agent’s job is to work for the Buyer, mitigate the risks outlined above, provide the information needed to make an informed purchase, expertly negotiate the terms of the contract, and see the deal through. A Buyers Agent works exclusively for you in a competitive landscape to get the lowest possible price. Additionally, a Buyer’s Agent can provide:
• Comparable sales, listings and market trends
• Data from MLS map search
• Property sales history and disclosures
• Listings not yet public
• Contract preparation
• Price, closing cost, occupancy, and repairs negotiations
• Help in finding inspectors and contractors
If you are concerned about hiring a Buyer’s Agent because of paying for the service, don’t be. Most of the time, the fee is paid by the Seller. When the Seller agrees to list with a Listing Agent, the Seller agrees on compensation to be paid (average of 6%) to both the Listing Agent (3%) and a Buyer’s Agent (3%). In some cases when a Listing Agent works as a Dual Agent, he or she may collect the full compensation (6%). Remember, a Real Estate Agent only gets paid when a property sells.
Because buying or selling a home can be a large transaction with legal implications, the State of Ohio requires by law that Brokers and Agents provide the “Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships” which specifically identifies the role of the Agents before you enter into a Real Estate transaction. Having a Buyer’s Agent working for you is a benefit in the home buying process. The value of the expert helping you when buying a home will ensure that you have a dedicated professional working in your best interest to help you secure the home of your dreams.